Rays pitchers were shocked to hear of pitching coach Jim Hickey's departure and heaped praise on him:
"Hickey is one of the most intellectual people I know. He's also one of the best people persons I know. The combination of his ability to analyze and apply information, as well as communicate to his players is what causes him to enhance pitchers careers, young and old. From him helping me prepare prior to every major league start I've made to our wide-ranging chats after practice, on the plane, over a meal, I'm going to miss many, many things about Hickey and his influence on our organization.''
"I'm not going to try to explain how great Jim Hickey is. There's really nothing I can say that would speak louder than his track record. All I can say is how fortunate I was to have him when I got to the big leagues. No one could have prepared me better. He has a talent that most organizations search for relentlessly. He will have a great time being a free agent.''
"Hick was the best pitching coach I have ever been around, He helped me grow a lot as a pitcher over the time I was fortunate to work with him. So a lot of the pitcher I am today is because of him and the work he put in with me. I was blindsided by the news as I think most were, very unexpected. I know where ever he goes next that team will be getting a great leader to their pitching staff. And who knows maybe we will work together again down the road at some point.''